Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act is a federal law that makes it illegal for an employer to pay women and men who perform “substantially equal work” at different pay rates on the basis of sex. This law applies to all employers.

“Substantially equal work” means work requiring substantially similar skill, effort, and responsibility performed under similar working conditions in the same workplace. Different pay rates for reasons other than sex – for example, a seniority or merit system, or a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production – are allowed.